The Q&A Archives: Safe House plants for children and pets

Question: Hi,
I was wondering if you could please suggest a few house plants (small as well as large and tall) that are safe for children and pets.

I love the fiddle leaf fig, but understand that it is not a safe. Any suggestions for something along this line in size, but safe?

Thank you!

Answer: The following is a list of plants considered toxic. Remember that plants may contain a variety of poisons. They may cause symptoms ranging from a mild stomach ache to serious heart and kidney problems. It's always best to teach children and animals not to chew on plant leaves, flowers or berries.

Plants to avoid:

Common Name
Apricot kernels
Azaleas; Rhododendron
Calla Lily
Chinese Evergreen
Dumb Cane Dieffenbachia spp.
Elephant's Ear
English Ivy
Fishtail Palm
Holly Berries Ilex spp.
Jerusalem Cherry
Lantana Lantana camara
Mountain laurel (holiday greens) Kalmia spp.
Rosary Pea Abrus precatorius
Yew (holiday greens) Taxus spp.

Plants listed below are considered safe and not poisonous. Although eating or touching these plants is unlikely to cause illness, any plant might cause a reaction in certain sensitive individuals.

African Daisy Dimorphotheca aurantiaca
African Violet Saintpaulia ionantha
Aluminum Plant Pilea spp.
Baby's tears Soleiria soleirolii
Bamboo, Golden Phyllostachys aurea
Bird of Paradise Strelitzia reginae
Bird's Nest Fern Asplenium nidus
Boston Fern Nephrolepis exaltata
Camellia Camellia sinensis
Cast Iron Plant Aspidistra elatior
Christmas cactus Schlumbergera bridgesii
Coleus Coleus hybridus
Corn Plant Draceana spp.
Donkey's Tail Sedum morganianum
Dracaena Dracaena spp.
Easter Lily Lilium longiflorum
Echeveria Echeveria spp.
Figs, Weeping and Fiddleleaf Ficus spp.
Geraniums Pelargonium spp.
Goldfish Plant Columnea spp.
Impatiens Impatiens wallerana
Jade Plant Crassula argentea
Japanese Aralia Fatsia japonica
Kalanchoe Kalanchoe spp.
Lipstick Plant Aeschynanthus spp
Maidenhair Fern Adiantum spp.
Nerve Plant Fittonia spp.
Orchids Cattleya, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum spp.
Norfolk Island Pine Araucaria heterophylla
Palms Most nontoxic except fishtail palm, Caryota spp
Peperomia Peperomia spp.
Piggyback Plant Tolmiea mensziesii
Poinsettia Euphorbia pulcherrima
Prayer Plant Maranta leuconeura
Purple Passion Plant Gynura aurantiaca
Sensitive Plant Mimosa puddica
Spider Plant Chlorophytum comosum
Surinam cherry Eugenia uniflora
Swedish Ivy Plectranthus spp.
Wandering Jew Tradescantia spp.
Wax Plant Hoya carmosa
Zebra Plant Aphelandra squarrosa

Hope this information is helpful.

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